Nazarbayev signs new Criminal Code20 july 2014, 12:16
President of Kazakshtan Nursultan Nazarbayev signed the new Criminal Code on July 3, Tengrinews reports citing the official website of the president.
The new Criminal Code is intended to modernize the criminal law in order to strengthen the stance against crime in the modern conditions, increase the level of protection of citizens' rights and the interests of the state.
One of the most significant novelties of the new Criminal Code is that it introduces a new term “misdemeanor” to differentiate it from a heavier form of breaking the law – a criminal offence. Such differentiation exists in many countries and may include three types: infraction, misdemeanor and felony. This is done in order to make the justice system more efficient and fair.
In the new Criminal Code, prison sentence is replaced with arrest in case of misdemeanors, while criminal offence will still be punished with a prison sentence. The maximum period of arrest for a misdemeanor is set at three months, which is shorter than the initially conceived period of six months.
There are other changes in the new law. Confiscation of property as a form of additional punishment is excluded from 45 articles.
Also, the new Criminal Code introduces tougher punishments for corruption offenses. It provides for a lifetime ban on the right to hold certain positions and enhanced penalties for bribery. It also sets a ban giving prison sentences for economic crimes if the guilty person fully reimburses the damage.
The new law also introduces a criminal penalty for spreading damaging rumours.
Tougher criminal responsibility is now in place for manifestations of extremism and terrorism, and spreading radical ideologies, includes through the Internet.
Another new article envisions criminal liability for participation in international armed conflicts. This article provides a punishment of three to seven years. Another article provides severe penalties for separatist activities.
In addition, penalties for crimes against minors are toughened. Lifetime ban is introduced on the right to engage in activities related to work with children on those convicted for sexual offenses against minors.
A special chapter on medical crimes is introduced, which includes criminal liability for trafficking in counterfeit drugs.
By Dinara Urazova